This body of work represents my impressions of America. As a foreigner in the United States, I am impacted by the differences between where I am from (Beijing, China) and where I am now. In my mind, the repeated, high-density signage of the commercialized landscape represents America. The external look of the American landscape and the internal order conveyed by the sign constitute my understanding of the mass production that I associate with American consumer culture.
Influenced by traditional Chinese painting, which depicts the landscape based on the painter’s memory instead of his or her direct observation of place, I make digital collages from hundreds of exposures shot at different times from different locations with a similar look. Each individual photograph is like a fragment of memory, and together they comprise the iconic American landscape of my imagination.
The various signs are so dominating that they become visual pollution that lingers as an impression. However, they are also a form of visual language that provides information and reveals the needs and desires of a culture. By using photography, I am able to present how I understand America visually and to reveal how overwhelmed I feel by a culture that is exotic to me.